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Early Diagnosis Makes Cancer Survivors

Early Diagnosis Makes Cancer Survivors

Posted By HealthcareOnTime Team Posted on 2022-03-11

The word "cancer" brings in thoughts of an incurable medical condition igniting the fearful image of an individual being at the brink of death. This disease gained its notorious reputation with its power of affecting any body part without a pre-defined causal factor or cure. Cancer diagnostics deal with detection of the presence of any type of cancerous growth by performing various laboratory tests and scans. This dreadful disease affects body's building blocks - cells, causing their abnormal proliferation. Some cancers grow slowly while others rapidly to advanced stages, some respond well to treatment and others pose difficulty in treatment.

Early Diagnosis Makes Cancer Survivors

Cancers detected at early stages are often highly curable, for they haven't spread to other organ systems and are usually surgically removed. Cancer in later stages is difficult to cure, but its growth or spread can be controlled some- times for months to even years Importance of 'Early Detection' can be understood here as it increases the chances of a successful treat ment, prevents worsening symptom and effectively aid in managing the treatment'side effects. Noticing possible warning signs early and taking prompt action leads to a better prognosis.

Cancer Types and Role of Diagnosis
Most common types include cancers of lung, thyroid, colon, kidney, skin, pancreas , lymph and uterus. Few early but not very specific signs of cancers of:
- Abnormal growths and lumps
- Abnormal bleeding
- Unhealed sores or sores taking time to heal
- Chronic indigestion and hoarseness

Cancer cells growth in tissue

Symptoms persisting for a long time need to be examined by a doctor at the earliest for it may indicate traces of cancer cells (if present). Early diagnosis is important mostly in cancers of breast tumour markers, colon, cervix, rectum, skin and mouth. Early diagnosis at the onset of certain cancer types, like bowel, breast and ovarian, increases survival rate for around more than 5 years. It's because at an early stage, cancer hasn't affected crucial body organs, and with effective treatment, damage can be controlled.

Diagnostic Procedures
Specialised physicians or radiologists review patient's medical history and perform physical examination. Various Pathology Test are ordered initially when cancer is suspected. It is important to note that performing a test does not make an individual a cancer patient.

Biochemical tests include blood tests to analyse functioning of liver, kidneys, heart, and other organ systems to check for presence of abnormal blood proteins and tumour markers (substances made by cancer cells or body in response to cancer)

- urine microscopy test check for presence of abnormal metabolites
- Imaging tests performed for confirming cancer type and location include: X-rays, CT scan (computed tomography), PET-CT scan (positron emission tomography-computed tomography), MRI scan (magnetic resonance imaging), mammography, ultrasound, nuclear medicine scans
-Biopsy - definitive diagnosis with affected tissue examination

What delays Diagnosis?
- Low awareness to spot and failure to report the early symptoms among general populace
- Majority of patients are diagno sed only when admitted into a hospital after reaching advanced stages
-Delayed/wrong diagnoses from the doctor, who focus more on presence of a less severe disease or other treatment methods
- Organisational faults like delays in appointments for scans
-High costs of Diagnostic Test and treatment procedures

Life of a Cancer Survivor
You're suffering from cancer is not any easy statement to hear. Diagnosis is the first startling hurdle for patients which takes a toll, emotionally and physically. Guilt of ignorance towards body, self-hate, anger, anxiety and depression ensue. It wreaks havoc because it feeds on fear, fear of uncertainty as to what's next? Will I survive? Will i die...?

Treatment with chemotherapy and medications relieves symptoms, stalls recurrence of cancer but added pain and side effects get tagged along. Palliative care provides relief from symptoms and side effects, thus improving quality of life.

Is it possible to cope with a disease which brings death eventually? One may argue death is inevitable, but when healthy individuals get up every morning to work/study, looking forward to a promising life, a cancer patient shouldn't feel cancer is the end. It's easy to write in words to stay strong but only a survivor knows the pain endured. Who doesn't know India's beloved cricketer, resilient Yuvraj Singh who was diagnosed with germ cell tumour post his epic World Cup fame! Having ignored the initial symptoms of chronic cough and chest pain, he feared a positive diagnosis, hence delayed treatment. Later, he faced his fears with chemotherapy and batted his way out, and today is still playing cricket, with a much stronger mind.

Be alert enough to observe your body when it shows signs of illness. Do not ignore the symptoms and act as fast as you can when you have the upper hand to life. Seeking medical attention on time can outrun cancer, letting you survive.


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  • Disclaimer: HealthcareOnTime offers extensively researched information, including laboratory testing for health screening. However, we must emphasize that this content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always prioritize consulting your healthcare provider for accurate medical guidance and personalized treatment. Remember, your health is of paramount importance, and only a qualified medical professional can make precise determinations regarding your well-being.
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